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Knee trembler on Narnain!

Knee trembler on Narnain!


Postby coachmacca » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:37 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 17/03/2013

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 13.8 km

Ascent: 1023m

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Beinn Narinain - a hill I've been keen to do for sometime and yesterday was to be the day.

Snow, lots of it so full winter pack including crampons, axe, Sam's Sandwiches and flask of coffee as well to ensure survival and we were off. Got to the Succoth car park around 9.30 - late I know for most of you but early enough for us on a Sunday!

I'll try not to bore with all the details but we followed the route from WH, headed up the direct path past the concrete blocks left by the Hydro works as described and left the forest to look at the hill itself. snow of the tops of all hills around but still clear at this stage.

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr


Made our way pretty much straight up threading through some boggy ground then hit the first hint of a snow line (with sheep guarding the path) so it was time for a quick stop, coffee , layers on and hat/gloves within easy reach then it was on into the snowy flanks.

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr

We made our way directly up the route as planned, some great Wintry scenes and soon the microspikes were out to save us effort and time caused by the now frequent slipping and sliding of snow over strawy grass - I really do like my spikes!

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr
Sam getting ready to take on our 9th Munro


We found the route really good fun, working our way through snow and rock every now and then coming over a rise to see the summit (or the next rise as was the reality) appearing before us.

About 2/3's of the way up Cruach nam Miseag we decided to stop get some sarnies and coffee to get our energy up for the final push. We were making ok time for us (usually we dawdle a bit) so were really getting a good feeling !


Little vid of the weather :)


We pushed on , winter conditions getting more extreme so goggles on, hoods up and gloves keeping us warm we pushed on to the steep scrambly rise of the Cruach. We met a few lads coming down and they advised they wouldn't go over the top of the Beinn as they werent equipped with Crampons - sensible!

We were so were now looking forward to making the summit!

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr

Once on top enjoying the views and feeling very hardy in these arctic conditons we were overtaken by first a dog then a runner ... in shorts! Nothing like one of these nutty hill runners to put your "gas on a peep" as we say!

Not only on the top to be greeted by the sun lighting up that other old friend - The cobbler!
Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr


We soon lost sight of him as visibility was shortening pretty hard so on we pushed - heading for the Spear! (To be honest I was wondering how hard it was going to be in these conditions... and rightly so! Crampons on, poles stowed and axes in hand now... only way to go!

Long story short.. we headed up a route at first but soon realised it wasn't right.. and had to come back down and east a little .. as we moved round we started to get a bit concerned..

Our recent Glenmore training and all the recent events had us very cautious of what could happen and as we watched snow rolling across a chalky surface we couldn't help but think about avalanches!
At this point (about 700m) it was clear that Sam was getting very tired and it thought we really needed to stop, rest and eat or turn back but the thought of going all the way back down wasn't great so we found the Narnain equivalent of "Death Bivouac" and had some rations to refuel - amazing what a hot coffee, half a roll and some mints can do for the spirit as well as the body!


Ok time to move on.. we moved steadily up and east coming round the base of the final craggy face at about 800m we started to get a bit worried...

All routes looked less than inviting and were getting steeper... Going back was looking worse and the snow frankly was concerning us.(In hindsite we were not far around East enough and had come in too far south)

At this point I invented a new mantra - the 4 C's I call it...

Calm (yourself , breath and relax)
Consider (your next more carefully, look around , what are the possible ways to go)
Careful (movement and always full contact with crampons and axe, fist in for extra purchase if you can)
Climb (up in this case .. the only safe option)

The angle was now getting to about 60-70 degrees and with us spacing out around 10 feet and hugging rock we tried to disturb the snow as little as possible while still pointing in and making our way up. At times I don't mid admitting we were both really concerned about something going wrong and with about 30m to go we pulled in to a small ledge for a rest and to plan the final move (thank goodness for altimeters!)

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 20133 by coachmacca, on Flickr
Planning the last attack!

Last push, round a almost marble shaped rock, angle decreasing rapidly, staying fluid but cautious and were up and out of the longest, steepest, scariest, snowiest gully I have every been in!!

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr
Final push up and out

Walking on the heading we found the trig point , elated and also VERY relieved (funny how you worry more about the other person than yourself!).

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr
Sam at the trig point

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr
Yours truly

On and down we screwed up. Managed to navigate safely away from the NW cliffs but somehow overshot the SW route out and headed West... taking us round the Cobbler... limited visibility, the false comfort of a stream that you think you remember and inventing features on the "cobbler" to fit your plan meant we were now heading out on a very long road not the planned one. I checked the compass, map and GPS but somehow thought I knew better and it was only after about 30 mins I worked out our true position. Anyhoo... a good path then the A82 meant a fast if long hike back to Succoth! (Taking a group of ill equipped adults and kids with us - see here! http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=29620&start=90 )

In summary - Awsome hill, amazing winter walk, superb is scary ascent, astounding views and a very strong lesson learned about navigation! :lol:

Cant wait until the next one :wink:

Image
Beinn Narnain Mar 17 2013 by coachmacca, on Flickr
The long walk home.....
Last edited by coachmacca on Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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coachmacca
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby wilkiemurray » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:53 pm

Glad you got down ok - it's amazing how easy it is to match the landscape wrongly to the map - been there a few times!
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby coachmacca » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:01 pm

wilkiemurray wrote:Glad you got down ok - it's amazing how easy it is to match the landscape wrongly to the map - been there a few times!


All too easy! Tired, on the way down... thinking you know the way.. LESSON LEARNED :shock:
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby tomyboy73 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:19 pm

nice report coachmacca, you got up and down safe and sound that`s the main thing, mistakes are made to be learned from and a wee bit of fear does you no harm, Narnain is a great hill, been up it 4 times !
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby Fudgie » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:18 am

It's frightening how easy you can get disorientated. My GPX file from A'Mharconaich on Sunday has a bit of an S shape near the summit as navigation was very tricky :D
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby coachmacca » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:47 am

Fudgie wrote:It's frightening how easy you can get disorientated. My GPX file from A'Mharconaich on Sunday has a bit of an S shape near the summit as navigation was very tricky :D


Really focused me on continuing to develop my navigation skills but just reminds me of my key mantra (i have loads lol) "Every day is a training day .. or for the Twitter folds #everydaysatrainingday :wink:
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby Ibex » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:32 pm

Looks like a hell of a day out. Well done to you and Sam.
I've done the thinking you know better, thing before. The one time it really cropped us up, was when my Dad convinced our group to go one way off of the top of Hart Crag in thick clag, when I had a compass bearing showing us to head off at around 30 degrees different.
He wouldn't listen and we ended up in the wrong valley and in a pub, where we made him buy the round of expensive Guinnesses. :lol:

When I read that you were having a 'knee trembler' on the mountain, I was almost expecting an X rated walk report......

The bit about the fell runner made me laugh though. Why do all the nutters wear shorts, in all weathers?
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby grenfell88 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:38 pm

Nice report mate. Just goes to show hoe easy it is to loose your bearings or misjudge your postion.

That steep climb is great fun in the snow :D
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby coachmacca » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:52 pm

Ibex wrote:Looks like a hell of a day out. Well done to you and Sam.

He wouldn't listen and we ended up in the wrong valley and in a pub, where we made him buy the round of expensive Guinnesses. :lol:

When I read that you were having a 'knee trembler' on the mountain, I was almost expecting an X rated walk report......

The bit about the fell runner made me laugh though. Why do all the nutters wear shorts, in all weathers?


Ibex Are you sure he didn't know about the pub all along ? :wink: Aye a good title draws the crowds (you smutty bunch :lol: )

I honestly dont know how he didin't freeze to death ...
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby coachmacca » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:53 pm

grenfell88 wrote:Nice report mate. Just goes to show hoe easy it is to loose your bearings or misjudge your postion.

That steep climb is great fun in the snow :D


Aye great fun :D :D .. Sam on the other hand was convinced of imminent death by Avalanche! When she heads to Asia for work next you and I can get some hills in!
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby Ibex » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:25 pm

We knew a good pub, where we were supposed to be going anyway.
I was mildly smug that I got it right though. Not that I let him know or anything.

Looking back over your pics in here, i've got even more respect for you getting to the top.
Looks like a hell of a challenge in the conditions.
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby lomondwalkers » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:51 pm

Great report CM, I made a similar mistake doing Narnain & Ime and came off the wrong side of Ime, although stupidly I carried on with the walk even though I had left the map at home!! :shock: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=9989
Thankfully no harm was done and an important lesson was learned. Narnain is a great hill. Cheers :)
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Re: Knee trembler on Narnain!

Postby grenfell88 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:55 am

coachmacca wrote:
grenfell88 wrote:Nice report mate. Just goes to show hoe easy it is to loose your bearings or misjudge your postion.

That steep climb is great fun in the snow :D


Aye great fun :D :D .. Sam on the other hand was convinced of imminent death by Avalanche! When she heads to Asia for work next you and I can get some hills in!


Sounds like a plan mate. Looking forward to it :)
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